In its latest filing before the federal district court in Dallas on behalf of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its affiliate organization, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) in the Hamas-terrorism financing case, the ACLU has made a noteworthy admission.
Rather than deny that there is copious evidence tying ISNA and NAIT to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the brief argues that such evidence is merely dated. In a curious footnote on page 7, the reply states:
Assuming the authenticity of documents' dates, the most recent documents to mention either ISNA or NAIT are dated 1991, Gov. Exhs. 3-3 and 3-85, but the majority of the documents are older. Almost all of the numerous exhibits that purport to show financial transactions and that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT are dated 1988 and 1989 (there are two dated 1990), almost a decade before the majority of the overt acts the government alleges in support of its conspiracy charges against the HLF defendants.
So ISNA and NAIT are not saying that the documents tying their organizations to Hamas are "inauthentic," but that the problem with the evidence is just that it is old. Then, even more curiously, the reply goes on to argue something that the government has not even alleged:
Even if the "evidence" provided some basis for alleging criminality against petitioners, the government's discussion of it shows the government utterly fails to grasp the singular weight and consequence that an official accusation of criminal conduct carries in our criminal justice system and in our society.
But, of course, the government has not charged ISNA or NAIT with criminal conduct, or the two groups would be indicted in their own right, rather than un-indicted co-conspirators who worked with the Holy Land for Relief and Development (HLF), the defendant and alleged Hamas-front. The reply brief then, as Shakespeare might write, "doth protest too much."
The government is merely claiming that evidence exists that ISNA and NAIT have sufficient ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – HLF - that justify the groups' inclusion on a list of un-indicted co-conspirators, which enables prosecutors to more easily enter into evidence information which shows the scope of HLF's pro-Hamas operations.
We have chronicled the financial ties between ISNA/NAIT and Hamas several times, including during the first trial against HLF:
Exhibits entered into evidence a few days ago at the HLF trial include an expense voucher from the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), an ISNA subsidiary, made out for $10,000 in the name of Musa Abu Marzook, as well as a check drawn on a NAIT account in the same amount made out to Marzook. Another check for $10,000 on the same account was made out to Marzook's wife, Nadia Elashi. Another check for $30,000 was made out to the Islamic University of Gaza (and has Shukri Abu Baker/OLF written on the memo line), a school long known to be controlled by HAMAS, and which counted such notables as former HAMAS leader Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantissi and current HAMAS leader Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar as professors, and the recently deposed HAMAS Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh is a former dean of the University.
That is NAIT/ISNA money going to a top Hamas official, his wife, and a university controlled by Hamas. So the lawyers for ISNA and NAIT are admitting that both groups supported Hamas financially in the late 80's and early 90's, which, at a minimum, destroys ISNA's contention that the group has no ties to Hamas, let alone the Muslim Brotherhood.
The ACLU reply also states:
Of the exhibits the government cites that contain any mention of ISNA or NAIT (many do not), all pre-date by years the earliest conspiracy charge in the HLF Superseding Indictment (1995) and the 1995 designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Leaving aside the issue of what it means to have supported Hamas before it was officially designated as a terrorist group for now, we have reported on ISNA's post-1995 terror designation relationship with Hamas, which is both interesting and telling:
More notably, in June of 1997, two and a half years after HAMAS was officially designated as a terrorist organization by the United States government (and long after common sense and reality indicated as such), top HAMAS official Mousa Abu Marzook thanked ISNA (and several other U.S.-based Islamist and "civil rights" organizations), writing that ISNA supported him through his "ordeal" – Marzook had been detained at JFK airport in 1995 and arrested and the Israelis were seeking his extradition. Marzook wrote that ISNA's efforts had "consoled" him.
ISNA's magazine, Islamic Horizons, is a hotbed of pro-jihadist literature, and has long championed HAMAS and HAMAS officials, notably Mr. Marzook himself. In the November/December 1995 issue, almost a full year after HAMAS was officially designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, Islamic Horizons published an article titled, "Muslim Leader Hostage to Israeli Interests." That leader was Marzook, characterized by ISNA as:
[a] member of the political wing of Hamas, disliked by the Zionist entity for its Islamic orientation, continues to be held hostage in the U.S. at the whims of his Zionist accusers.
And in the September/October 1997 issues, two and a half years after the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group, Islamic Horizons published an article describing Marzook as:
[j]ailed without trial in New York for-months for alleged ties to organizations seeking Palestinian rights.
That almost incredible Hamas apologia is from after Hamas was designated as a terrorist group. But what was known about Hamas before its 1995 designation? Hamas' Charter, the group's foundational document written in 1988, states:
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).
This Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), clarifies its picture, reveals its identity, outlines its stand, explains its aims, speaks about its hopes, and calls for its support, adoption and joining its ranks. Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterised by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgement, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders. It goes back to 1939, to the emergence of the martyr Izz al-Din al Kissam and his brethren the fighters, members of Moslem Brotherhood. It goes on to reach out and become one with another chain that includes the struggle of the Palestinians and Moslem Brotherhood in the 1948 war and the Jihad operations of the Moslem Brotherhood in 1968 and after.
Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
"The Day of Judgement (sic) will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
As we noted a few days ago, sentiments very similar to this last paragraph can be found on ISNA's own website. Unfortunately for ISNA's reputation, the Hamas Charter contains many more vile sentiments, including:
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement (sic) Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement (sic) Day.
Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?
"But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah." (The Cow - verse 120).
There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.
The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised. To do this requires the diffusion of Islamic consciousness among the masses, both on the regional, Arab and Islamic levels. It is necessary to instill the spirit of Jihad in the heart of the nation so that they would confront the enemies and join the ranks of the fighters.
That is why you find them giving these attempts constant attention through information campaigns, films, and the school curriculum, using for that purpose their lackeys who are infiltrated through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs. These organizations have ample resources that enable them to play their role in societies for the purpose of achieving the Zionist targets and to deepen the concepts that would serve the enemy.
The Islamic Resistance Movement calls on Arab and Islamic nations to take up the line of serious and persevering action to prevent the success of this horrendous plan, to warn the people of the danger eminating (sic) from leaving the circle of struggle against Zionism. Today it is Palestine, tomorrow it will be one country or another. The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.
And, scarily enough, there is much more where that came from. Yet it should not need to be pointed out that Hamas' invocation of a long discredited, notorious, anti-Semitic Russian forgery is grounds enough to keep one's distance from the group, whether or not it had been officially designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. But this is exactly who ISNA and NAIT were supporting, both financially and vocally, in the late 80's and early 90's, and on the pages of ISNA's magazine, and even well after Hamas had indeed been officially designated as a terrorist group.
The current admissions in the ISNA/NAIT reply brief are telling, and that their lawyers are claiming that the evidence linking the groups to Hamas and HLF does not rise to the level of criminality – despite the fact that the government so far has imputed no criminal conduct to either ISNA or NAIT in this case – is interesting. If it were true that the only unsavory and irredeemable quality of Hamas is suicide bombings and terrorist attacks, the protestations of ISNA and NAIT might ring a little truer. But Hamas' call to violent jihad and its vile anti-Semitism predate the terror group's "official" designation as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, as does the now-admitted support lent Hamas by ISNA and NAIT.